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The Money Pivot: Your Drastic Financial Make-Over Begins Now

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK (MainStreet)--We have been hearing a lot about "The Pivot" for a while now. Silicon Valley lexicon has entered the mainstream once again. Popular use is defining it as a sudden change in strategy for a business, a politician - even a media mogul. Oprah Winfrey says that her fledgling television network is in the midst of a turnaround: "Let me just say, we have made the pivot," she proclaimed on "Good Morning America" last September.

Businesses make strategic course corrections. They "pivot." Forbes even did an article on it last year: Dizzying Use of the Word "Pivot" Explained.

You've probably heard Albert Einstein's oft-quoted definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Aren't we all a bit guilty of that in some way, especially in matters of money? We finally pay off a credit card, only to repeat the same mistake by maxing it out again in short order. Times get tough, money gets tight - we stop saving for retirement. We swear we'll never go "all-in" on one stock ever again - but bought E-Trade (ETFC) five years ago at $250. It's scraping near $10 a share now. That talking baby doesn't look quite so cute now, does he?

Frankly, you are probably thinking that your personal finances could use a quick pivot right now. An abrupt course correction. A departure from habitual bad financial behavior. So let us begin. Let's start The Money Pivot.

Where to begin? Marc Lynn is a psychotherapist and organizational consultant with a private practice in Los Angeles. He says: start with taking a breath.

"First, the individual needs to slow down their process so they can begin to make more mindful choices," Lynn says. "Delay gratification. It's no different than a toddler wanting something and the anxiety causing an inability to wait and make a more thought-out decision. Asking the right questions is critical."

Self assessment is not always our strong suit, is it? Sometimes we just don't know what questions need to be asked. We know we are in a financial bind, or frustrated with the investment choices we've made in the past, or we're facing retirement without adequate financial resources.